Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from Wrenshall High School, all students are required to complete three kinds of requirements by the time they graduate:

  • Credits – Satisfactorily complete the state course credit requirements under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.024.  Satisfactorily complete all state academic standards or local academic standards where state standards do not apply.
  • Meet State Graduation Assessment Requirements in Math & Reading.
  • Meet Community Service requirements (civic engagement).


All students are required to take a minimum of six (6) credits per semester. Credits earned in grades 9-12 are counted toward graduation. There are thirty-four (34) required credits and sixteen (16) elective credits for a total of fifty (50) semester credits required for graduation. The required credits are:

  • 8 semesters of English including Communication Arts and Literature 1, 2, 3, and 4 which are the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade courses.
  • 8 semesters of Social Studies including Geography/Civics, American History, World History, American Government, and Economics. (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade).
  • 6 semesters of Mathematics, including algebra, geometry, statistics and probability sufficient to satisfy the standards. Students in the graduating class of 2015 and beyond must complete an algebra II credit or its equivalent as part of the 6-credit requirement. In addition to the high school credits, students in the graduating class of 2015 and beyond must also complete an algebra I credit by the end of eighth grade.
  • 6 semesters of Science, including a biology credit. In addition, students in the graduating class of 2015 and beyond must complete a chemistry, physics, or Career and Technical Education (CTE) credit as part of the 6-credit requirement. (The CTE credit must meet the standards underlying the chemistry or physics credit.)
  • 2 semesters of Physical Education including 9th grade Physical Education.
  • 2 semesters of Health.
  • 1 semester of Fine/Visual Arts Education.
  • 1 semester of Computer Applications

*Foreign Language Requirement:  Although there is not a foreign language requirement for a student to graduate from high school in Minnesota, please be aware that a post-secondary institution may have expectations/requirements for initial admission or part of their educational program expectancies.  Please check the high school preparation guidelines of the institution you’re interested so that you can be best prepared with all expectations for general admission.

Students in grades 9-12 attending classroom band will earn ½ credit per semester.  Students who attend after school functions for pep band, concerts, parades, etc. may earn an additional ½ credit per semester when meeting attendance criteria set up by the school.

Students transferring to Wrenshall School will be granted equivalent high school credit for all classes taken upon entering 9th grade and at the 9th grade level and above.

State Graduation Assessment Requirements

In order to be eligible for a diploma from a Minnesota public high school, all students must fulfill applicable graduation assessment requirements. There are different routes to meeting graduation assessment requirements depending on what year students were first enrolled in grade 8.

Students First Enrolled in Grade 8 in 2012-2013 and Later

Based on the revisions to Minnesota Statute 120B.30 and 120B.125, districts have a number of requirements to fulfill for students’ career and college planning, but students are not required to achieve a specified score on an assessment in order to graduate or meet graduation assessment requirements.

Districts must assist students with career and college readiness, including the following. Each of these will be addressed in detail below.

  • Offering students in grades 11 and 12 an opportunity to participate in a nationally recognized college entrance exam on a school day.
  • Monitoring student’s development of and growth in career and college readiness.
  • Assisting students no later than grade 9 in exploration and planning activities for career interests or postsecondary education.

MDE will no longer be tracking graduation assessment requirements for students first enrolled in grade 8 in 2012–2013 or later through MDE systems. Districts must ensure they are assisting students with each of the areas outlined in the bullets above, and it is up to the district to determine how these areas are met.

Minnesota Statute 120B.30 requires a school or district to record a student’s progress toward career and college readiness on the high school transcripts of students first enrolled in grade 8 in the 2012– 2013 school year and later (other students should be included as soon as practicable).

  • The statute states a student is college and career ready if the student is able to successfully complete credit-bearing coursework at a two- or four-year college or university or other credit-bearing postsecondary program without need for intervention.
  • Schools, districts, and charter schools are best positioned to make individual determinations about a student’s progress toward career and college readiness. The statute does not prescribe a specific tool or method for measuring progress toward career and college readiness.

Offer Opportunity for College Entrance Exam

Districts must provide students the opportunity to participate in a college entrance exam on a school day, but individual students are not required to participate.  Only The ACT (The ACT and The ACT Plus Writing) and SAT are considered nationally recognized college entrance exams; if districts choose The ACT, MDE expects districts to administer The ACT Plus Writing. Even if the district already offers one of the assessments on a national test date, the assessment must be offered to all students on a school day.  Wrenshall will be in contract to administer the ACT Plus Writing for the 2020-2021 school year (Date yet to be determined).

The following provides additional clarification about student participation.

  • The district must offer a college entrance exam each year on a school day to students in grades 11 and 12, and students will decide if they will participate and in which grade they will  participate.
  • Each district will determine how the assessment opportunity will be communicated to students and families (e.g., letters to students/families, notification on the district/school website).
  • The student does not determine which of the college entrance exams he or she would rather take; the district determines which assessment will be offered.
  • Students can choose instead to take The ACT or The ACT Plus Writing on a national test date, and the district can request reimbursement for eligible students.
  • Home-school and non-public students are not eligible to take The ACT or The ACT Plus Writing at a public school during a school day.
  • An appropriate college entrance exam is not available for students with significant cognitive abilities who are eligible to take the MTAS. It is not necessary to offer a college entrance exam to these students.

Monitor Student Development in Career and College Readiness

Districts must monitor student development of and growth in career and college readiness. It is expected that as part of district curriculum and instruction planning, districts will identify students’ academic strengths and diagnose areas where students require curriculum or instructional adjustments, targeted interventions, or remediation.

Career and college readiness indicators will be included in Reading and Mathematics MCA Individual Student Reports (ISRs) in grades 3–8, 10, and 11 to support districts in this monitoring.

Assist Students in Exploration and Planning Activities

Districts must also assist students no later than grade 9 in exploration and planning activities for career interests or postsecondary education.

This plan must be reviewed and revised at least annually by the student, the student’s parent or guardian, and the school or district. A component of this plan is providing an interest inventory to the student. It is up to the district to determine how to best meet the requirement. MDE does not endorse a particular product for the career interest survey.

Community Service Requirements for Graduation

Objectives- Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.  It means promoting the quality of life in a community.  Studies have shown that individuals who help others develop a greater sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

Criteria- Each student will be required to work a minimum of 20 hours, starting in grade 9, performing civic engagement as a requirement for graduation.  The volunteer activities a student chooses must meet the following basic requirements in order to be considered:

  • Activity must be performed outside the scheduled school day (8:20-3:13), unless otherwise approved by the school counselor.
  • Activity must not be performed for a family member, relative, or personal friend.
  • Activity must not be for pay or any other compensation.
  • Activity should be initiated by the individual student and not part of a credit granting course.

Procedures- Every time you perform a service, fill out a volunteer voucher form (located in the main office) and have it signed by the designated advisor, or keep a volunteer log if your service is for the same place over a period of time.  Logs and vouchers can be picked up and turned in to Mr. Holter anytime during the school year, but the deadline for turning them in is May 1st of your senior year.